Hello everyone, it’s me MCBL from My Crazy Bipolar Life bringing you this weeks TWIM! (Sorry it’s a little bit late this week!) It’s only my second time doing this so bear with me!
On a personal note I have been a bit mental lately; and so, on reading through and catching up with lots of blogs, I thought that this week I would write you ‘The Distress to Recovery’ Edition. Hopefully the reason for that will soon become obvious!
So grab yourself a cuppa and enjoy this weeks TWIM. With this TWIM comes warnings of triggers such as talk of self harm and suicidal thoughts. There is also a lot of positive talk as some of our lovely fellow mentalists start the walk of recovery. So I’ve tried to include posts from one end to the other, as we are all at such different points in our journey through mental illness!
So I try my hardest to quash my feelings, ignore my emotions, cut, eat, purge them away. There’s only so much a person can try to bury before it overflows though. Given recent events, now more than anything, they feel uncontrollable, unmanageable, and I just don’t know what to do. Feelings of being backed into a corner with the psychiatrist I saw, feelings of abandonment in having to cease therapy with D, feelings of isolation in not having anyone to confide in, feelings of hopelessness when it seems as though nothing’s ever going to get better, feelings of rejection and hurt when suddenly discharged from hospital, feelings of apprehension in starting therapy with someone new all over again, feelings of inadequacy and stress when attempting to complete uni work, feelings of alienation, being judged and misunderstood.
I thought everything would be fine once I was out of the blasted hospital. But I seem to have fallen down a huge hole and I can’t see my way out.
But I’m done anyway, done with hospitals and medications. Went back for ward round this morning, they just don’t listen. So I left without waiting for my meds and I’m not going back next week. I’ll either survive or I won’t. Don’t suppose it matters much either way
I really hope things start to look up for you both soon ((hugs))
Someone who is looking back at times of distress and the journey it has taken her on is The Quiet Borderline. She looks at her own experiences with self harm in detail, so I better pop a little trigger warning in:
It was all to do with escapism and just wanting to escape reality. Push the pain aside and fill it with a bottle of cheap nasty vodka.
I guess that between the ages of 16 and 21, I self harmed another couple of dozen of times. Including solvent abuse, burning myself and cutting myself.
After the age of 21 up to 25, I didn’t cut so much but the drinking and smoking were still there.
On June the 6th 2011, I woke up early with a bad stomach and feeling very shaky. It was the start of my breakdown, which, one year and nine months later am I only coming out of now.
So, here we are, 14 years after self-harming for the first time, one year and nine months since the start of my breakdown, fourteen months since my hospitalization and 6 days left to go until I move to the rehabilitation program to start my life from afresh. Really, a new slate.
I am sure I speak for all of us when we wish you all the best for the next step of your journey at the rehabilitation program :)
As I was telling the team about these particular episodes, it was if I were listening to a stranger talk about their lives. Part of me was thinking as I talked: wow, Charlotte, that stuff sounds crazy. Really crazy. You have been through some crazy stuff. The research psychiatrist looked at me. “I see you’ve brought this letter from your consultant, thank you; and that it confirms you have a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Did your consultant ever give you a more precise diagnosis?” Ah. I explained my consultant’s feeling on the bipolar I/bipolar II issue. “Hmm,” said the research psychiatrist, “the definition of someone with bipolar I is anyone experiencing marked impairment in social or occupational functioning. And-“ he looked down at my notes “-yes, well there you are.”
I was thinking that before, it always felt like I was on a tightrope, trying to keep my balance, trying not to look down. I couldn’t ever stand straight or just stop to catch my breath, because I was too busy trying not to fall, which I always did anyway. Then I’d have to climb back on, and try again, never really getting anywhere, just waiting for the next fall.
But now I’m not on a tightrope. Another pathetically cheesy analogy, but now it feels more like a bridge or something. Still not firm ground, still suspended over what-might-happen, still a little apprehensive about the potential for falling. But it’s not so hard to balance, and I can walk a bit safer.
I told my keyworker (I should give him a blog name, let’s call him James) that I thought recovery for me was going to be about living the life I want, about not being held back from doing the things that I want to do in life because of my mental health problems without self-destructing in the process. If I can manage that, then my moment to moment emotional state is almost of secondary importance. I mean, if I reach the place of being able to live a purposeful life I’ll probably be less emotionally volatile, less overwhelmed and more able to deal with distressing thoughts and feelings, but I’m not going to make eradicating those thoughts and feelings my goal. I think doing that would be counterproductive, actually- I need to learn to live well with feelings of anxiety/sadness/anger and that’s not going to happen if my number one focus is getting rid of them.
All in all, I’m feeling pretty positive about how things are going- I’m having a good period right now. My mood is fairly stable and neutral (it’s almost never really good, neutral is like excellent for me), I feel like I’m FINALLY getting somewhere with the NHS (I should have been referred to Day Services at least a year ago, but never mind), and I’m looking into sorting out private psychotherapy to complement all of this with a view to re-starting therapy in a couple of months once we pay off some debt.
I’m really glad for you both that things are looking up and I’m sure I don’t just speak for myself when I say that posts like are really inspiring for those of us who are still a bit stuck in the ‘chaos’ part of mental illness.
This wildcard this week comes from You Tube and is one of the funniest videos I have seen in a long time – some of you may have seen it as it appears to have gone ‘viral’ – but you just have to see it especially from 1 min 45 secs where she thinks she’s a wizard at hogwarts! How mental do you feel now?!